B&W Fiberglass News

B&W Industry Spotlight: Electronics

Posted by Craig Barry on May 17, 2017 10:25:00 AM

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Producing electronics has become an increasingly complicated process. The textiles, chemicals, and alloys used to produce a majority of modern electronics range from obscure to recycled, and everything in between. One textile component on the rise in electronic production is glass, specifically “glass thread” or “glass fiber.”

Why is Glass Fiber Well-Suited for Electronics?

Commercial electronics have changed drastically over the past decades. Today’s electronics – from smartphones to tablets to wearables – need to be more reliable and robust than ever before. Fiberglass is a natural choice of substrate of multiple-use electronic devices. The intrinsic qualities of glass fiber (tensile strength, corrosion resistance, lightness, insulation/conductivity) support the necessary functions of many of the critical components of electronics we use every day. PTFE coatings, for example, used in electronic circuits, provide dimensional stability and temperature resistance to their immediate environment.

The Many Properties of Glass Fibers

Why are glass fibers so ideal for use in the electronic industry? A number of physical and mechanical properties mean glass textiles are finding new uses in the high-tech electronic field:

Electrical: “E-glass” as it’s called is a general purpose glass fiber is known for being highly electrically insulating and is also alkali free.

Mechanical: Roughly comparable to the mechanical properties of expensive carbon fiber, glass fiber is less brittle, relatively lightweight, and possesses high tensile strength.

Thermal: A high ratio of surface area to weight, glass fiber generally has a thermal conductivity level of around 0.05 W/(m·K) making it suitable for insulating heat-producing electronics.

Which Electronics Are Glass Textiles Used In?

Glass fibers are most commonly utilized by electronic manufacturers in the production of printed circuit boards. Powerhouses of everything from phones to video game consoles, circuit boards draw from the strength and conductivity of glass textiles.

Additionally, glass fiber is increasingly being used as a component of so-called “tech textiles.” The advent of conductive fibers has opened up many wearable electronic possibilities, from “smart” clothing to military-grade responsive wear. Glass threads are also used in the production of some consumer-facing devices such as cell phone screens and smart glasses, among other applications.

 

The future of glass fibers for electronics is bright. B&W Fiberglass manufactures myriad glass textiles for use in electrical systems, circuit boards, and consumer electronics. To find out more about how we’re helping to revolutionize the products we use every day, contact our team.

Topics: Electronics